Bord Gáis chairman to head Shannon steering group

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE six-person steering group set up to advise the Government on the dismantling of Shannon from the Dublin Airport Authority and break up Shannon Development will be led by Bord Gáis chairman Rose Hynes.

THE six-person steering group set up to advise the Government on the dismantling of Shannon from the Dublin Airport Authority and break up Shannon Development will be led by Bord Gáis chairman Rose Hynes.

Ms Hynes, who is originally from Clare but who has lived in Limerick for many years, will head the group charged with advising the government on Shannon’s future and that of the surrounding land assets currently owned by Shannon Development.

A former executive with the aviation leasing company GPA who was appointed as chairman of Bord Gáis in July 2009, Ms Hynes is also a former member of the Shannon Airport Authority. She confirmed to the Limerick Leader this week that she is a member of the task force.

“I am a member of it,” she confirmed. “(But) we haven’t sat down yet as a group so I am not going to comment on that, it wouldn’t be appropriate.”

MS Hynes will be joined on the task force by Central Bank board member Alan Aherne, Ed Hansom, who previously worked for GPA and is connected to RBS Aviation Capital, IAA chief Eamonn Brennan, Pat Dalton, an executive with One51 investment group and Declan Keane, who was chair of the working group who produced a report on mortgage arrears.

Minister of Finance Michael Noonan TD confirmed to this week that in addition to those names, the key government departments will be “represented at a very senior level”.

“The idea then would be to move on and not to be hanging around and make decisions. Their job is to implement decisions taken by government, those decisions are quite clear, so it is up to the new group now to work out the detail and drive on,” he said.

Government recently unveiled plans to separate Shannon from the DAA and establish a new commercial state company responsible for running the airport and developing the land assets currently owned by Shannon Development. Enterprise and tourism functions are to be transferred to the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, with some staff retained in the new airport company - which is to begin life free of net debt.

Speaking in Limerick last weekend, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the plans represented an “enormous opportunity” for the region.